Explaining Exercise Behavior and Satisfaction with Social Exchange Theory

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Applied Behavior Analysis | Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Exercise Science | Health Psychology


This study tested the hypothesis that the variables specified by social exchange theory (perceived rewards of exercising, perceived costs of exercising, social and tangible investments, and available alternative activities) are associated with exercise behavior and satisfaction. 190 health club members completed a questionnaire assessing attitudes toward exercise, exercise behavior, and demographic information. Exercise frequency and satisfaction were regressed on the social exchange theory variables and demographic covariates. Exercise satisfaction, the number of investments in exercise, and the number of available alternative activities were significantly related to exercise frequency, and the number of perceived rewards of exercise and the number of investments were significantly related to exercise satisfaction. These results suggest that social exchange theory is useful for explaining exercise behavior.

Rights Information

© 1995 Perceptual and Motor Skills